Thursday, January 5, 2017

Choosing a High School for Next Year

I had hoped that the SAP changes would be approved last night so there would be clarity. Sadly, we'll need to wait a week before the MS pathways and Cascadia split decisions are finalized (1/11).

In the meantime, this conversation had already started on the old thread.  What questions do you have about the various choices for High School:


  • Ingraham
  • Garfield
  • Roosevelt
  • Ballard
  • etc.

145 comments :

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if anyone here has anything to report about the state of the science department at Garfield? I know the other thread mentioned some issues (or just lack of excitement) with science at Ingraham.

Anonymous said...

How about Math at any school? Any issues with starting precalculus as a freshman?

Anonymous said...

My child is a junior at Garfield. Had mediocre science at HIMS and hasn't really ever loved science, it was just a class to get through. Made me sad that science was such a turn-off at such a young age. My kid has had a great experience in GHS science classes all three years. Experienced, caring, and funny teachers. Curriculum challenging and interesting. Teachers seems to be very available after school if you need extra help. There's a wide variety of classes to fit interests and ability levels, (i.e. Chem, honors Chem, and AP Chem). My kid is looking forward to taking science sr. year and in college.

My kid didn't take precalc as a freshmen, but math classes are mixed ages at GHS. Kids take whatever they are ready for, so a freshman can take precalc if it's their next step class. If you want honors or AP level classes, you sign up for it. If you take higher level classes for a couple years but it's too much, you can back off and take honors or regular level math the following year. It's a big school so there are a variety of levels of each math depending on what you want.

GHS isn't a perfect school by any means, but I'm appreciative that my kid has had a solid experience in math and science.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, that is really helpful :).

Anonymous said...

I'd love to hear from some HCC parents that chose RHS. What are the core classes for 9th grade? Have your kids had enough challenge? Other pros/cons?

Anonymous said...

If math is your thing and you're advanced, Ingraham might not offer a great math pathway if you plan to do the regular IB program. If you take precalc/trig in 9th, I think you'd end up with AP Stats in 10th, then you could do IB math SL and HL in 11th and 12th. Those, however, would mean repeating some of the material from 9th and 10th, since most IB students don't enter with as much math experience as you'll have. If you do IBX you might be in better shape, since you'll be able to take a college math class your senior year (if you don't just graduate early instead). Maybe Michael Rice will chime in if things have changed or this is wrong.

Garfield--along with a few other neighborhood high schools--offers a more traditional advanced math pathway, so you could take AP Calc AB, AP Calc BC and AP Stats. Depending on where you go to college, you may be able to start with more college credits under your belt and a higher initial math placement. At UW, for example, AP exam scores can get credit for Math 124, 125 and Stat 311. IB scores, however, can only get you credit for Math 124 (if you get a 7 on the exam), or the lower level Math 120. You can't get credit for Math 125 or Stat 311 via IB exams.

Anonymous said...

Possible pathways for math at IHS, for student starting in PreCalc (and choosing IBX pathway):

9 - PreCalc
10 - IB Math SL
11 - AP Calc AB
12 - AP Stats

9 - PreCalc
10 - IB Math HL
11 - IB Math HL
12 - AP Stats or IB Further Math

Credit policies vary by college (and favor AP). According to UW, credit is only given for Math HL (2 year IB class, not the one year SL class). Getting a 7 on the IB HL exam (very difficult to do) will get you the same credit as a 5 on the Calc AB exam. A 3 or 4 on the AP Calc AB exam gets the same placement (Math 124) as the highest score on the 2 year Math HL course. Kind of crazy.

http://admit.washington.edu/apply/freshman/policies/international-baccalaureate

https://admit.washington.edu/Admission/International/AdvancedCredit/AP

Anonymous said...

Portland State University, on the other hand, awards 45 college credits and sophomore standing for students having earned the IB diploma with a total score of 30 or above.

https://www.pdx.edu/undergraduate-admissions/psu-credit





Anonymous said...

Garfield parent here. Most of the departments are a mixed bag. There are some great teachers and then there are some really bad ones and a bunch of mediocre ones. The classes my kids have liked the most are oceanography with Steever, AP European History with Simoneaux, Theatre with Hawk and Algebra with Waterman (who is new). My other observations:

- While the head of the language department is great, the language department is a bit of a mess - lots of turnover among teachers

- The last two years, there have been multiple sections in Math without certified instructors - the department head has been highly unresponsive to parents - no updates, doesn't work with parents to help keep kids learning or find an interim solution

- If your kid is a white HCC student, many of the teachers and administrators are going to think you are "privileged" and not only will you not be their priority, some are actively hostile. One of the LA teachers posted on Facebook that white HCC parents were racists. Same one told her class this year that white people are responsible for most of the bad things that have happened in history. Many teachers are actively working to dismantle advanced learning.

- The principal announced the honors for all change during the summer, in the newspaper after he told the PTSA that the teachers were not ready to differentiate and that the changes would not happen in 2016-7. Does not meet with the PTSA even though they are funding many programs at the school. Does not solicit parent feedback.

- Diversity of thought...not so much.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Yikes! Thanks for the honest assessment.

Anonymous said...

Going back to IB math at IHS - while the IB math pathway may seem like a negative in terms of college credit when compared to the typical AP pathway, I think the higher level IB math classes offer some of the more advanced math available in SPS. For a very mathy student, someone who plans on a math intensive major in college, the advanced IB math may be more interesting.

Anonymous said...

My child started Pre-Calc as a freshman this year at Roosevelt. He's the only freshman in his class, but I know of others in the school. There was no issue getting space in a class, and all that needed to be done was to have shown on a transcript that Algebra 2 was completed prior to freshman year. Could be at an SPS school, private school or summer program like at Lakeside or Robinson Center. The math department had handouts at the open house stating the clear pathway options and what level to enter. Any math class above grade level is considered an honors class, and supposed to be taught at a more rigorous level, but we don't have anything to compare it to. So far my son's teacher has been wonderful and our kid is happy!


Lynn said...

What science is your child taking at Roosevelt? Do all students still take the same English and history classes for the first two years there?

Anonymous said...

Lynn, my child who is taking Pre-Calc tracked into Biology. We came from outside of SPS, so hadn't completed an EOC exam for Biology that HCC students do in middle school. All the HCC students enrolled in an SPS gifted program for 8th grade tracked into Chemistry for 9th grade at Roosevelt. From the course offerings shown online (just go the Roosevelt site) it looks like all 9th and 10th graders take the same LA blocks. For 10th grade it is listed as AP Geography with World Literature and Comp. 10. I have no idea how rigorous it is compared to another school. Don't know if the answer is easy to find, but I am curious as to how different Honors for All at Garfield is versus the 9th grade LA block is at Roosevelt. Anyone have an idea?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the science answer, that is great!

Anonymous said...

Is it reasonable to think the plan for Lincoln is to maintain whatever AP courses are currently offered at both Ballard and Roosevelt? Will there be enough qualified teachers to maintain the same offerings at all three schools? Will there be large enough cohorts of students to keep higher level class offerings? Latin, which is unique to RHS, would probably not be offered at Lincoln, but what about math through Calculus BC? My understanding of RHS LA honors is that they do extra work above and beyond the regular coursework - it's an opt-in honors model as opposed to an honors-for-all model (based on info from past open houses).

Anonymous said...

Latin is not unique to Roosevelt. Garfield has a huge thriving Latin program that wipes the floor at every competition.

Cave canem

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's reasonable to assume there IS a plan at this point.

Anonymous said...

It is reasonable to assume that there will NOT be the same number of AP offerings at Lincoln when it opens. Eventually, sure, but not at first. The number of constituencies needing attention at Lincoln will be huge and varied. In any case, it is not de facto that Lincoln will be an HCC pathway. Then there are the budget issues. If you have a child going into 9th grade in the north or North Capitol Hill or Queen Anne/Magnolia areas know that your child will almost 100 percent be affected by the new school opening. Either your student will be forced into the new school partway through their high school years or your student will remain in place but a loss of students from your child's current school will mean a loss of funding and staff. Which translates into a loss of class options. It will happen. Be aware.

Veteran

Benjamin Leis said...

Nothing said above is false but I think also by the time Lincoln opens up most families will be grateful to relieve the overcrowding in all the existing high schools. Its going to be a very uncomfortable few years prior to that. Over-enrolled schools have their own set of issues just like new ones.

Anonymous said...

Given the budget discussions happening right now, I personally am also concerned that IB may disappear from the SPS budget. RBHS has gotten a supplement from a not-for-profit, I remember, but Sealth and IHS may be at risk. Not trying to stir the pot, just paying attention to the programming that is repeatedly offered up downtown as a place to save budget. IB is a perennial choice. Another thing to consider when choosing a high school.

An entirely different choice not much discussed on this forum: Nova. For a self-starter not looking for a "traditional" high school -- e.g. music, drama, athletics -- Nova is a very solid option. More families should explore it. Charlie Mas, longtime blogger on Save Seattle Schools blog and an advocate of HCC, sent one of his children there and also has highly recommended it in the past. Some of the most well-spoken students I have seen in my years of SPS volunteer work have come from Nova. The principal there is exceptionally strong.

Veteran

Anonymous said...

I will look at previous threads but have an HCC kid at JAMS who will be entering high school next year. I am not sure IBX at Ingraham is the right fit--our kid is the type who will do what is required but the bare minimum, and not the type to get fired up and take a deeper dive on things. For whatever reason, our child is tepid on Garfield and seems to be leaning towards Roosevelt. I didn't make it to the open house at Roosevelt last year but my spouse and our student attended and liked it. Most of the anecdotal information I've heard about Roosevelt has been good. Realizing that each kid is different, have families with HCC kids who have attended Roosevelt been happy with offerings and student engagement with their classes? I know we are lucky to have some great options to choose from. Any tips to pass along to us high-school newbies as we enter this phase? Thanks very much!

Anonymous said...

About 25 students per grade at Roosevelt have been identified as highly capable. Has the cohort been important for your child for social reasons?

Anonymous said...

Thanks, @Anon at 11:46. The social aspects of the cohort have been nice, but I suspect that element has been less critical for our student than for others, based on comments I have read here and elsewhere over the last six years. I do think our child has benefitted from HCC in a variety of ways but again is the type to do the minimum required no matter what school they attend.

@Anon at 11:19 AKA Hana

Anonymous said...

Do we really think it's going to stay at 25 this coming year, though? That number has got to at least double, with the mess at Garfield and cap at IHS.

Anonymous said...

I've been more than happy at Roosevelt with an HCC kid. The Language/History block for Freshman year isn't overwhelming, but having access to great music programs, languages and a variety of clubs has been better than expected. The one concern I do have is upper level science classes, and AP offerings for science. Just not enough. But I have to believe that if 25+ kids continue to come every year, that those will follow. Fingers crossed for my middle school child in a couple years. There are also options for Running Start and UW in the Classroom in languages and English. I don't know all the specifics of which classes are offered each year, but I do think there are enough for most kids to find something a little extra. Teachers have been welcoming, and I haven't heard any social drama, though that usually doesn't affect my child. Oh yeah, I hear they have good sports, too. :)

Anonymous said...

After almost 2 qtrs at Garfield with a 9th grade child, here is my take -
LA & History, both part of the "honors for all", are not even close in rigor to 8th grade HCC courses at WMS or frankly, even the 6th/7th HCC LA block class.
History is slightly better than a dismal LA.
The Latin teacher is terrific - engaging, high expectations & thorough instruction. Alg2H is with a new-to-GHS teacher who is the "best math teacher ever", so that is refreshing. There was some poor instruction at WMS in this area.
ChemH is fine, complains that it moves too slow through material.
Music is da bomb, Ms. Roy was great choice for orchestra.
So far it is still the best fit for my kid. Actually says it is way less stressful environment than WMS. Which may have been due to the incredibly crowded building/hall situations.

Southender

Anonymous said...

Our experience after two years at Garfield (with kids in 9th and 10th grade) has been generally positive. If it were the same for the remainder of their time there, we would be content. Here are some pros and cons:

PROS:
Music program remains excellent (even after the departure of the legendary Tsutakawa);
Science and math have been very strong overall, challenging and with most teachers very engaging, plus they offer at least one higher level math than most other high schools;
World History: Teachers working very hard to make the Honors for All approach successful, though unclear how much of that is sustainable given how much effort the teachers are putting in (e.g., giving up one of their prep periods each week to help tutor kids in other classes); 10th grade definitely a step up from 9th grade in terms of intensity/homework level for this class in particular;
Language Arts: Some truly passionate teachers in this group who have inspired our kids;
Latin: Requires hard work, but program is top notch, with a great teacher and lots of enthused students;
School is racially diverse;
Excellent range of activities and clubs;
High rate of kids going to college (I think highest in SPS, which is amazing given over 10% of GHS students are homeless).

CONS:
Sometimes kids don't get classes they wanted, including especially language in 9th grade (though much better than it was last year) and at least some 10th graders didn't get AP Chem despite the school offering it several periods;
Fixing erroneous schedules can take a couple of weeks, which is super frustrating when your kid is sitting in the wrong class just waiting to get the schedule fixed (and missing the class they are supposed to have);
Spanish classes very uneven depending on which teacher the kid gets;
All of the problems of public schools (including poor communication about important deadlines, understaffed counseling department, sometimes no teacher for classes when school year starts, uncertainty as to what will be the program next year (especially with moving to 24-credit graduation requirement));
Racial groups don't always interact as much as one would expect;
More than one gun-related incident this year on/near campus;
Highest drug usage in 2014 student survey (though we have not encountered this personally).

PRO or CON depending on your perspective: Some socialist tendencies among staff and students

- Bulldog Parent

Anonymous said...

Bulldog Parent - What is the highest level of Math offered at Garfield? Wondering how it would compare to Roosevelt or IBX, if we had a choice. Do you know what AP math courses are available at Garfield, or do they have UW in the classroom for math? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Two years of AP Calc and AP Stats.

Anonymous said...

AP Calc AB/BC and AP Stats for Ballard, Roosevelt, and Garfield?

Anonymous said...

True for Roosevelt and Garfield. Not sure about Ballard.
Biggest difference between Roosevelt and Garfield seems to be in upper science offerings (numerous AP offerings at Garfield; only one AP offering at Roosevelt). For a science loving HCC kid, it seems like Garfield would be a compelling option. For a math loving HCC kid, Roosevelt might work. For LA and social studies, I don't see huge differences, except that at Garfield the 10th grade SS is AP World History, and at Roosevelt it's AP Human Geography. Both offer AP US History in 11th and AP Government in 12th.

Anonymous said...

Per course catalog, Ballard offers AP Calc AB, BC, and AP Stats, too. And for a science-loving kid, they also have the biotech academy. Catalog also says two science AP classes (Chem and Bio), plus maybe some unique (?) offerings like genetics and environmental horticulture.

Anonymous said...

What about Franklin?

Pseud

Anonymous said...

Bulldog Parent noted Garfield has "All of the problems of public schools (including poor communication about important deadlines, understaffed counseling department, sometimes no teacher for classes when school year starts, uncertainty as to what will be the program next year (especially with moving to 24-credit graduation requirement))."

Just to point out, these are NOT always typical problems of public education. In Seattle, yes. In the rest of the state and country, there are many districts that don't have these problems. There might not be a lot we can do about it right now, but I think it's important to keep in mind that although we've come to accept these as normal, they are not. They are signs of the larger failures and poor planning and decision making that seem to be chronic in SPS.

HF

Anonymous said...

Course catalogs for the high schools are usually online. If you have concerns about access to specific courses or sequences, that's probably a good place to start. Whether or not you can actually get a particular class may be another issue, but you can at least get a sense as to what's offered where and do some "comparison shopping."

Anonymous said...

I am the parent of an 8th grade HCC student at HIMS and trying to decide between Garfield, Ingraham and Ballard (our neighborhood school) for him. After doing much reading I do not think the IB program is right for my kid. I appreciate all the great comments on Garfield but was wondering if anyone can comment on Ballard for me as I don't see much on that in this comment thread. Ballard is top on our list as I know he can get AP classes and it is closer to home but would be very curious to hear if others have more information to share about their student's experience at Ballard. Thanks - Magnolia parent

Anonymous said...

I have a bunch of questions about IBx at Ingraham and am wondering if anyone can answer any or all of these? Thanks in advance!!

--Can a student take orchestra (or band) every year while in the IB program? If so, does it count as IB Music? If not, how does that work?

--Is IB Math SL (taken in 10th grade) essentially Pre-Calc? Does it prepare you for AP Calc the following year (assuming you aren't taking Math HL)?

--Are the SL/HL foreign language classes the same classes that non-IB kids are taking (for example, French III, etc), or are the IB foreign language classes different? If the same for all, is there any difficulty getting the foreign language classes you want? (I know there have been difficulties in this area at other high schools.)

--For the HL classes, do you take the exam each of the 2 years, or only at the end of the 2nd year? (And, for example, if you take Bio SL, followed by Bio HL, is that an exam each year or only at the end of the 2nd year?)

--Is it accurate that you must choose math, biology, or foreign language as your third HL course (in addition to LA and SS as the other two)?

--If you obtain your IB diploma, are you exempted from the PE, Health, and Occupational Ed requirements that apply to other high school students?

Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

Here's a link to the Academics page on the GHS website that includes the current year registration booklet listing all of the courses offered: http://garfieldhs.seattleschools.org/academics
You can also see from the Master Class schedule (link on that page as well) how many periods are offered for each course. For example, at GHS AP Calc AB is offered five different periods, AP Stats is offered three different periods, AP Chem is offered all six periods (yet that still wasn't enough for all of the kids to get in, as noted above), AP Bio is offered three periods.
Here is the link to the BHS Academics page with their Course Catalog (didn't see the Master Class Schedule on their website): http://ballardhs.seattleschools.org/academics
Sitting down with the list of courses is a good way to explore the best fit for your kid, and then make sure to ask about specific courses of interest during the tours.

The issue we found when looking at Ballard is that they didn't always have enough kids sign up to offer the course, even if it was listed in their catalog, or the course was offered only one period, which might happen to conflict with another class also offered only that period that the kid would also want to take. I recall being told during the tour that AP Bio had not been offered one year due to lack of registration for the class (not sure if that would be an issue with their current high enrollment, but could be once Lincoln opens). Also, when we were looking, I think they had only one year of Calc AP class offered, not two years (it appears this has changed since then, and BHS has grown, so maybe now they can offer multiple periods of some AP classes). In any event, these are good things to check out on the tours.

We looked into the Biotech Academy at BHS, since one of our kids is interested in Bio, but the kid was turned off when they learned they would be required to take Bio over again in order to be in the Academy. BHS insisted their Bio class would be more rigorous than what was covered at HIMS, but hard to think there wouldn't have been significant overlap. For us, it just wasn't a good fit with the pathway coming out of HIMS. We do know some non-HCC kids who really liked the Biotech Academy, and we know HCC kids who went from HIMS to BHS (mainly for transportation reasons) and are happy at BHS. It just depends on your kid's interest.

Also bear in mind that having a lot of AP courses to choose from is great, although for some kids a heavy load of AP courses could be crushing, especially if they have a lot of extra-curricular activities. One parent of a junior athlete was just telling me that their kid was struggling to keep up with four AP classes during their sport season.

- Bulldog Parent

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Bulldog Parent! Yes I had a long conversation with the BHS counselor and she let me know about the fact that he would have to repeat Bio to do the Biotech Academy, something we were looking at. Thank you so much for the information and links. I will print the schedules and review. - Magnolia parent

Anonymous said...

Hi folks! I reached out to a counselor at Roosevelt and shared my JAMS HCC kid's current classes (Spanish 2A, Biology 1, HCC US History 8A, HCC Language Arts 8A, Physical Education, Geometry A, Advisory/Homeroom) and asked what classes those might lead to as a freshman at Roosevelt. I got the following response:

"A typical schedule for your student might be: Spanish 3A, Chemistry, Algebra 2 Honors, Language Arts 9A/B, World History 1-2, Elective (health, music, engineering, computer sci, PE, etc.) Roosevelt does not offer honors in English Language Arts or World History until the 10th grade."

Wanted to share in case others might find this helpful. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Our kid did HCC at HIMS and looked at Garfield, Ingraham, and Roosevelt last year. We chose Roosevelt (neighborhood school) and, while it still feels early, it has been a good academic fit. Some observations:
* The ways you look at each of these schools varies quite a bit (or it did last year). RHS - one crowded open house and that's it. GHS - tours, including during school, and an open house. IHS - shadowing days, a few open houses, tours during the day and in evening. For us, it made it harder because it was a complete apples and oranges viewing experience.
* Each school has an online course catalogue, so you can directly compare the number of APP and honors classes. However, not all have the master schedule listed so it can be hard to compare how many sections of AP whatever is available. Even when you can see the master schedule, though, it doesn't necessarily tell you that your kid will get into that class as you don't know how many kids also want to get into that class.
* We ruled out IHS IB and IBx pretty quickly. We didn't like the IB math -- preferred the AP math route. Honestly, our kid (and 4 other HCC friends) were very underwhelmed when they shadowed at IHS -- spanish was not as strong at HIMS, kids falling asleep in science, and Eng. was not impressive (and they allegedly shadowed pre-IB students). It was hard to reconcile the shadowing experience with all the build-up of how hard, hard, hard the IB classes are supposed to be. Could have been a bad shadowing day, but our kid preferred being able to pick and chooses AP and honors classes instead of doing two years of a more set IB agenda. Also, while I was convinced by the (never ending) point that IB is rigorous and colleges recognize that now, it still felt like AP is recognized everywhere in the US and a safe bet.
* Once IHS was out, it was between RHS and GHS. We liked the tour at GHS (and didn't like that there isn't one at RHS), but were not excited about the commute. Then the city changed the city bus and the commute grew by at least 15 minutes each way!
* We were worried about no honors Eng./Hist in 9th at RHS, but were then relieved that we hadn't chosen GHS for this reason after the GHS went to Honors for All. So far our kid's Eng./Hist. at RHS has been pretty consistent with what it was in HCC at HIMS.
* My impression is that there just isn't the "cohort" feeling in any of the high schools any longer (now that GHS is no longer the "path"). Your kid takes what's next in their sequence (Alg 2 or pre-calc, for instance) at any of the high schools and those classes will be mixed ages. Interestingly, HIMS "gifted" as a category on the recent school reports have scored quite a bit lower than Eckstein's "gifted" students (and I bring this up b/c Eckstein is the primary RHS feeder that doesn't have HCC). I recall some HCC kids opting out of the tests in protest, so perhaps that explains the difference. At any rate, the students who come from eckstein on the whole perform similarly to HIMS on the recent years of state tests even though HIMS has a much higher percentage of advanced learners.
* Our kid was excited about engineering at RHS and computer science (great reputations nationally, actually). Both classes and teachers have lived up to their excellent reputations. Our kid wanted to do robotics -- doing after school clubs and sports seemed daunting at GHS with the distance to the school. We weren't excited about night busing from GHS.
* Our kid has some schedule adjustments in the first week of school at RHS and I was very impressed (and surprised) how responsive the counselor was. Schedule changes were fast and easy.
RHSer parent

Anonymous said...

Is "honors for all" at Garfield just 9th grade Language Arts, or is it 9th grade World History too?
Is there talk of extending it into 10th grade LA next year?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we'll find out over the summer...

Anonymous said...

It's world history too. I don't think they'd tell us if they're going to extend it until it's too late to change schools.

Ingraham IBx Student said...

Anonymous at 11:17, I am a current second year Ingraham IBx student, and will try to answer your IHS questions as best I can.

A student can definitely take music for the full duration of their time in IB - I have a friend who is doing just that. It does take a little fiddling of your schedule - perhaps dropping a language/math/science for a year in order to fulfill IB requirements, but otherwise it works fine. IB Music is (I believe) more of a music theory course, and (I think) would replace a regular music class - it's different from band, orchestra, etc.

I took IB Math SL last year. It's hard to compare, having never taken pre-calc myself, but the course covers advanced algebra and trigonometry, as well as basic calculus and statistics. Students taking regular IB often take AP Calculus their sophomore year, and then take IB Math SL, whereas IBx students often take Math SL right after Algebra II. It's very open to the needs of the student. AP Statistics is also offered, if students would prefer that.

SL and HL language courses are the equivalent of levels 4 and 5/6 respectively. They are mixed courses that anyone at that level of language can take, with an emphasis on the IB language curriculum. There is no trouble at all getting language classes at this point (though IHS is growing rapidly). Important note though: students must be at least in Level 4 of a language in order to take an IB exam for that subject.

The way the Ingraham IB program is structured, all students taking the full Diploma Program are required to take English and History at the higher level (two year courses). For their third, they can choose from HL Math, Biology, foreign language, or an IB elective, like Psychology, Art, or Business.

A completed IB diploma waives all other high school graduation requirements, like health, op-ed, gym, and service hours. Rather, these requirements are replaced with the IB Diploma requirements.

Hope that helps!

Also: the upcoming Ingraham in-school and evening tours are a wonderful way to get to know the school and the program, and get your questions answered. We would love to see you there!

Ingraham IBx Student said...

Forgot to respond to this above: HL exams are all taken at the end of the second year. These are cumulative exams on both years of the course.
Students are permitted to take either one or two SL courses their first year. Thus, in second year, they will take three HL exams, and either one or two SL exams

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Ingraham IBx student. Your post brought up a few questions for me:

1. Can you go straight into an HL language class, or do you have to take the SL first? For example, if you're an immersion pathway student and you place into Spanish 4 for 9th grade then take Spanish 5 in 10th, can you take IB Spanish HL your first year in the IB program and get that out of the way, allowing more time for other classes in 12th?

2. Can you really only take 3 HL exams the second year? What if you want to take Math HL and Spanish HL, and start IHS advanced in both?

Anonymous said...

I'd ask IHS staff about the particulars of IB requirements. General Open House is Feb. 2 @7pm and IB night is Feb. 8 @7 pm.

With permission, a student can take 4 HL courses/exams, with 2 SL (assuming you are working toward IB diploma requirements). For an accelerated language pathway, it seems you'd almost need to be on the IBX pathway, meaning Alg2 (minimum) and Chemistry in 9th in order to take Math HL and either Biology SL or Chemistry SL in the first year of the IB program (plus an elective SL). You'd want to plan the required SL classes for the first year of the program in order to make the 2nd year more sane (the 4 HL exams would be taken the 2nd year).

Anonymous said...

Ingraham IBX student, would you be willing to share what you have planned for senior year? Running Start? Early graduation? Classes at IHS? Is it too early to know?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all your comments, IBx student!

Can you tell me what a typical math pathway would be for an HCC/IBx student taking Algebra II as a freshman, and planning to do IB Math SL at some point (not HL), and planning to take 4 years of math? Would it go Algebra II in 9th, IB Math SL in 10th, and then AP Calc A/B and AP Stats in 11th and 12th? Or some other order/other classes? Just looking for standard pathway. (I realize some kids will come into 9th at a higher level, and some kids will want to take Math HL, but for everyone else, I'm wondering what the standard pathway looks like.)

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

The math pathway you listed is the most typical for HCC/IBX. I think they currently have one class/section of students (IB and IBX combined) taking Math HL.

Anonymous said...

oops, I posted in the wrong thread. 2nd try here.

I posted the following comparison of RHS & IBx on last year's thread. There are others who sent HCC kids to 2 different high schools that posted last January, so maybe go back to that thread.


The one thing I have learned since posting last year is the difference between HL math & AP Calc AB/BC. HL math is more rigorous. Not because students go further, but because they go deeper. AP Calc series was similar but not equivalent to the first 2 calc classes at UW. HL math included more proofs, investigations & creativity more like the upper division classes that math majors take. So if you want more college credit, take AP math, if you love thinking about math, then HL math may be a better fit. Both scenarios can include AP Stats, which I think is basic to any future college studies.

last year I said...

I also had one APP qualified student at RHS & one at IHS. RHS had a strong cohort because that class came from the days when most NE APP qualified students did not move to APP, so they continued to together through Eckstien & Roosevelt. It could be different now students are moving into APP at a higher rate.

I think the both RHS & IHS have equivalent math opportunities. LA & History are more rigorous at IHS because IB is more critical thinking/writing & less memorizing than AP. Science is a mixed bag at IHS & poor at RHS because good science teachers seem to be scarce. Foreign language is strongest at RHS. At IHS, if you do the diploma, much of the rigor will be humanities because of the way IB works.

My RHS kid loved the LA honors options, partly because they are somewhat independent, so they can be very creative & demanding.

The real difference is AP vs IB program. I think most kids would do better in one or the other. Also the EC's are extremely different, much lower key & more open to different abilities at IHS, more demanding & competitive at RHS.

One other difference is the school culture. RHS is bureaucratic & inflexible, cliquey & competitive. IHS is more student focused & flexible, inclusive & laid back. RHS has some rock star teachers but IHS has a more solid staff overall.


-Just my opinion

Anonymous said...

Another revisited post comparing AP & IB :

I have also sent one kid through AP classes, 12 of them, & one kid through IB diploma. I agree with Maureen.

AP is about learning facts, practicing, memorizing, to get the right answer. The humanities & social science classes are like survey courses in college & math is like Kumon. I am not suggesting that is bad, just different. My AP kid appreciated the skill building, but felt like very little learning or thinking happened and curiosity had no place at all.

The IB diploma was much more about thinking & learning. They learn to evaluate different ways to think through problems, compare different kinds of knowledge, investigate and wrestle with new information then present conclusions within different frames of reference. They do this in every subject. Creativity & curiosity are basic to the approach.



-Just my opinion

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for everyone who has contributed to this thread. More questions for anyone who has/had an HCC student at Roosevelt:

One of my biggest concerns about sending my HCC kid to RHS is the lack of upper level science classes and complete lack of any AP science classes (besides AP Physics). What did your child take, or what is he/she planning to take in years 10, 11, and 12 (assuming he/she will take Chemistry freshman year)?

Also, can anyone confirm whether there are enough higher level math kids at RHS for them to actually offer and hold the upper level math classes: AP Calc A/B and AP Stats? (My kid probably wouldn't take B/C even if it's offered.) This question is getting to the issue of classes that actually take place, not what's in the course catalog (recognizing that sometimes courses listed in the catalog don't actually take place because not enough kids signed up).

Also, any comments on AP Human Geography (10th grade at RHS)? I know that Garfield offers AP World History instead (also 10th grade), which I think is a much more rigorous course, but that may depend on how it's taught, etc. What is the feedback on the RHS class?

Finally, I have heard that colleges compare what a student took to what was offered at his/her high school. (In other words, if a school only offers a few AP options and the student took all those options, they will do ok even in comparison to kids who took many more AP classes at another school that offered them.) But is that really true?

Thanks again for all this helpful comments! Your input is very much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

I think it's tough to know what will be available to students in 11th/12th grade because both Lincoln and the IHS addition will be opening in 2019, changing enrollment numbers and options. If a higher percentage of HCC students choose RHS and BHS over IHS and GHS, then they could very well have enough of a cohort to offer advanced courses (as long as they retain teachers qualified to teach higher level math/science), even with the change in enrollment numbers. Lincoln is a complete unknown in terms of offerings, and it's unclear what changes will be made at IHS/IBX and GHS over the next few years for HCC students. Just ask this year's 9th graders...you enroll based on current offerings, but they can change before school even starts. It's good to compare current offerings, but if I were going to open houses this year I'd ask what administration knows about plans for both before and after the opening of the new spaces.

Anonymous said...

I think that it will be hard to predict what classes will be offered. Also hard to predict your child's priorities. They are changing quickly at this age. What will they choose when the preferred science class conflicts with the musical rehearsal period & they got a lead role? Or if AP physics is the same period as Latin 3? And it all gets really complicated when the district pushes a 3x5 schedule & opens new schools.

Generally my RHS student didn't find AP science any more satisfying than gen ed science because as a math/science geek , already had the surface level information taught in AP physics & AP computer science.


The priorities of college admissions offices are different for different colleges. Generally they compare students with students in their own high school & don't expect courses not taught there. However they also look for things like passion, uniqueness, drive & national level competitiveness in sports or academic awards. Each school is different & each admissions officer may judge an application differently even using the same criteria. I suggest focusing on allowing your students to invest in themselves in high school, trying things, finding the things that interest them & spending time on those, then go to the college that wants the person they have become.


-Just my opinion

Ingraham IBx Student said...

Happy to answer any questions about IHS!

To Anonymous at 6:39:

You must take the SL level of a course first, and then take and test in HL second year. What makes a course SL or HL is whether it is taken for one year or two. For language classes, the level (4, 5, etc) matters less than whether it is the first or second year of that language that the student is taking while in the IB program. For instance, I am in Level 5 of my language now, but testing SL in May (Biology is my third HL)

As Anonymous at 10:45 said, it is possible for a student to take 4 HL courses if they desperately want to, but, as pretty much any IB student will tell you, practically no one does this. You have to be either wildly ambitious or slightly off your rocker. It is nearly impossible for even the best student. If students really want the credit for an additional HL course, they will often take the course itself, but not use that class for part of their diploma requirements, or even just take the course and not test.


Anonymous at 12:21, the pathway you've listed is the most common one in my experience for non-HL math HCC/IBx students

Finally, Anonymous at 12:18, all of those paths you outlined are definitely possibilities for IBx students their senior year (Running Start, early graduation, local internships). I myself plan to take classes at IHS senior year. In my opinion, I only get four years of high school, and I want to enjoy them to the fullest. I plan to use the year to take electives I missed out on due to the demands of IB and core classes that I haven't yet gotten to take (like AP Stats). I plan to have a slightly more relaxed year than IB ones, and focus on applying to colleges.

Hope that helps!

See you all at the Ingraham tours and open house! I'll be there leading groups and answering questions.

Ingraham IBx Student

Anonymous said...

I know a handful of kids at RHS starting in Pre-Calc, and have never heard that the courses aren't offered every year. The pathway is to take Calc AB following Pre-Calc, then BC OR AP Stats. Kids starting in Algebra 2 choose which AP class to take their senior year, so I am guessing they always have enough. If you start in Pre-Calc, you can take 3 years of AP math at RHS, just like GHS, and I have never heard of anyone not getting a math class.

Incidentally, among our circle of families, I have heard of no difficulty in actually getting all requested courses for Freshman, unlike from friends at Garfield. The only single incident was a friend wanting to start Latin and having a specific art conflict. As the Latin teacher comes from UW for only the first 2 periods, few classes would conflict, but speaking with the orchestra teacher, she said they specifically design orchestra classes later in the day as there is a large overlap of music/Latin takers. I have heard great review from GHS parents about their Latin program, and will also put in a strong plug for Roosevelt. The magistra is amazing, engaging and the texts used seem to be at a high level. I am almost positive it's the UW coursework, as third year qualifies for UW in the classroom credit.

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous person (please use a name or alias!) who asked about whether they would extend Honors for All at GHS from 9th grade to 10th grade, it may help to explain better what they did with Honors for All, at least with respect to World History. This year, just like last year, they were teaching the World History AP curriculum over two years, with about 40% of the material covered in 9th grade and 60% covered in 10th grade (if I remember correctly what the teacher told us). The difference this year is that a broader range of students are taking the class in 9th grade. In prior years, there were kids who didn't sign up for World History Honors in 9th grade and therefore really had an uphill battle if they tried to move into AP World History in 10th grade. By pushing more kids to the 9th grade Honors class, more kids can move on to the AP class in 10th grade. The teachers told us this year that, as this group moves to 10th grade, the 10th grade curriculum will remain the same, which makes sense since the AP curriculum is dictated by what's going to be on the national AP test. In other words, as I understand it, the hope is that a broader group of students will feel prepared to move to that 10th grade AP World History curriculum, but it shouldn't change what students are taught. I also have not heard that there would be any change to the 10th grade Honors LA curriculum.

I understand the suspicions expressed above that changes could be announced after people register for high schools, but frankly it is not something that would concern me much. First, the teachers expressed regret that they had not done a better job of engaging with the community earlier about the move to Honors for All, as it created a lot of confusion (and suspicion) about what was really going on. Second, it hasn't seemed to be a momentous change from our perspective.

I'm more concerned about the potential move to the trimester (3x5) system, which would really screw up AP classes and music programs. That issue would likely affect every school in the district, so probably doesn't much inform the choice of one public HS over the other.

- Bulldog Parent

Anonymous said...

The biggest threat to high school offerings is 3x5 schedule. It will impact every high school student in the district. AP classes are not compatible with 3x5 because exam dates are in May. IB classes match a mandated exterior grading schedule with even less flexibility than AP. So either AP/IB classes are 3 quarters long & students are limited to 5 classes a year, or they are 2 quarters long & students loose the review opportunities in the 3rd quarter when they are cramming in electives. Electives would not be year long classes. As disruptive as that would be for students who take a heavy AP load or IB diploma, it would be even worse for students who are struggling with Algebra 1 and have it interrupted for several months by an elective 2nd quarter. The high school registrars must be going crazy trying to come up with effective scheduling options for 3x5. I imagine lots of students will spend odd quarters as TA's.

If I were an 8th grade parent, I would be mobilizing around this issue.

-senior parent

Anonymous said...

It's not just 8th grade parents who need to be worried about the potential of a 3x5 schedule. When could the change happen? As early as next year? It would negatively impact more than AP/IB students. It would be worthwhile to revisit the past threads, both here and on the SSS blog, to understand just how terrible a 3x5 schedule would be. Not having heard much on the issue since it was first brought up, it's hard to know how to proceed.

current HS parent

Anonymous said...

I think I read that, due to budget issues, the district is delaying inplementation of any 24-credit-requirement responses for at least another year. The requirement will still apply to next year's freshmen, it's just that SPS won't be making any changes to facilitate getting those credits. Pass those classes, kids, and parents, make sure your kid gets a full schedule consistent with the requirements!

HF

Anonymous said...

Bulldog Parent, so are you telling me that the "accelerated AP pathway" the district claims is the mandated HC service at Garfield means they drag an AP class out over two years instead of one? Are you even allowed to do that with AP classes? Shouldn't an A in an AP class mean you're capable of doing that level work over the year? Is this a scam?

DisAPPointed

Lynn said...

Well that makes sense of something. The excuse for no longer allowing HC students to take AP World History in the 9th grade was that they were unprepared. Who knew the staff at Garfield were not capable of covering the material in one year? According to the College Board, the only prerequisite for the course is the ability to read a college level textbook.

Yes, what does Garfield offer in the way of an accelerated, enhanced curriculum? Also, if the first half of the AP World History material is now being taught in the Honors for All, project-based learning, heterogenous grouping format, are students getting the instruction they need to pass the AP exam?

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Garfield also offer AP Government as a year long, project based course in addition to (or instead of?) the typical 1 semester version of the course?

Lynn said...

Yes - but they also offer a one semester version of that course. Roosevelt stretches AP Human Geography over a full year too when it's intended to be a one semester class.

It's dispiriting that our schools are determined not to challenge students.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's dispiriting indeed. We have a lot of high-performing students but our teachers can't manage to deliver a successful AP class as it's intended to be delivered? Pathetic. How many of our AP classes are slowed down like this? Have teachers/schools ever been clear about why?

And how does this meet the requirement to provide HC services in 9th grade?

Another new piece of information, another reason to be
DisAPPointed

Anonymous said...

I often hear something to the effect that "AP is about memorizing, while IB is about critical thinking," and I'd like to point out that this is not the way it has to be. My student took online AP courses through programs designed for gifted students, and these were rigorous, honors-level AP courses for sure. The focus was on learning the material deeply, not passing the AP tests. My student learned the material so well that even though there was nearly a year's gap between finishing the AP Calc BC class and taking the corresponding AP exam, the only test prep he needed to do was learn to use his graphing calculator, since he'd been doing everything manually up to that point. For anyone who wants the additional college credits that can come from AP classes, and/or who wants a more rigorous approach to AP classes, I suggest you check out online gifted programs such as CTY or EPGY. Math classes, at least, seem to be much more challenging than their UW equivalents.

Also, note that you don't have to be in AP classes to take AP exams. Prefer the IB approach but want the option of AP credits? Grab an AP test prep book and do a little self-study.

Anonymous said...

Some historical context on the Garfield Social Studies curriculum. Not too long ago, the HCC/APP social studies pathway at GHS was Honors World History in 9th, AP European History in 10th, AP American History in 11th and a one semester AP Gov class in 12th. The 10th grade class was changed to AP World History. Subsequently, the HCC/APP middle school curriculum added 9th grade World History for their 8th grade class, allowing APP/HCC 9th graders to take AP World in 9th grade.

The problem then became that there are 3 years of social studies credit required to graduate from high school. GHS expanded the AP Gov class to a year long course to accomodate the APPP/HCC kids who would only have 2.5 social studies credits if they took AP World in 9th, AP US in 10th and the one semester AP Gov in 11th. I remember hearing positive reviews of this class.

Apparently the prevailing opinion was that the kids were not as well prepared to take AP World in 9th as expected and they have reverted back to the previous pathway. Taking a one semester or two semester AP gov class is a matter of choice now. It was not a nefarious plot. The 2 semester AP Gov class was an accomodation.

Anonymous said...

Historically RHS has offered 1 semester AP US Gov & 1 semester AP comparative gov to make one full year senior year, with AP US History Jr. Year & AP Human Geography Sophomore year, non- AP world history freshman year.

Many IB students do take AP exams if they want more college credit. Anyone can take AP exams, even if you don't self-study, like multilingual students taking AP exams in multiple languages.

The exams are expensive so it makes sense to know how helpful they will be at the college you are going to before scheduling a bunch of them. If you are just going to take other electives in college that don't have pre-reqs, then it may not be worth it. But if they allow you to register early for oversubscribed classes, then it may be worth it. Some schools do not recognize AP or IB credits at all. You probably can't know those answers til senior year.

-Just my opinion

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing Roosevelt stretches AP Human Geography over an entire year because the school requires ALL kids to take the class. ("AP for All") So they really can't make it as rigorous as perhaps it was originally intended. More and more, as I investigate high school options, I am finding that all of them are watering down what could otherwise be a rigorous curriculum. It's pretty disappointing. It may be that Ingraham IBx is the exception to this, but IB is not a good fit for everyone who seeks a rigorous curriculum.

--weighing options

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the context. So to be clear, it's not until junior year that Garfield HC students can get a real AP-paced AP social studies class? In 9th they all get the "honors for all" version (which includes part of AP World), then in 10th they officially get AP World, although it's a lighter version than a traditional AP World class since they covered much of it the prior year. Its that accurate?

I didn't mean to suggest that these slowed-down classes were done for nefarious purposes, but rather to point out that there are insufficient options available for students who need something more challenging. To learn that our HCC pathway high school doesn't offer a traditional AP social studies class until 11th grade is incredibly disappointing. There are plenty of kids who have been bored stiff by the slow pace of middle school SS (HCC or otherwise), and apparently there's no real relief in sight for the first couple years of high school. Sigh.

To those of you who seem to have a good understanding of the AP classes at Garfield, can you please clarify what the "accelerated AP pathway" at GHS is?

DisAPPointed

Anonymous said...

More on the issue of World History - If I remember correctly, the GHS catalog says World History I & II in 9th and World History III in 10th. The Roosevelt catalog says World History I & II in 9th, and a completely different class in 10th (AP Human Geography). The Ingraham catalog says World History II & III (apparently skipping I) in 9th, and a completely different class in 10th (IB history). Seems like maybe GHS and RHS are similar in 9th (perhaps just covering the first half of an AP World History class?) and then diverge in 10th, whereas Ingraham jumps right in at WH II-III in 9th, but no AP exam. (Parents of kids at these schools, please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.) I'm not sure what to make of all this, and maybe it's just getting way too detailed (stuck in the weeds), just sharing what I know.

--weighing options

Anonymous said...

Weighing Options,

These things change. Also courses conflict or certain instructors are preferred or high school splits move teachers around. You can't plan out a high school transcript with any confidence. It is even hard to predict what your student will value 2 years from now. I wouldn't make a choice based on specific course offerings.


-Just my opinion

Anonymous said...

A 10th grader at GHS can definitely take AP classes. In addition to the World History class, 10th graders who came out of HCC are often taking AP science (unless they choose Oceanography, which is a UW in the high school class so still advanced). They are also possibly in language level 3 (also a UW in HS class, at least for Spanish) or maybe even AP world language if they tested high enough to be placed in level 4 as a 9th grader. If they took algebra in 6th grade, they would track to AP Calc AB in 10th grade. I believe the other high schools now also offer more AP classes to address the needs of HC kids in their neighborhood schools, so maybe there isn't as much difference among the public options as there used to be, but for us there are plenty of challenging classes offered at Garfield.

In response to DisAPPointed, I'd worry less about the labeling of the pathway than the substance and how it meets the needs of your kids. For us it has been a good fit and has offered plenty of challenge, other than us making the mistake of not getting a kid tested for language in 8th grade, resulting in them being very bored in language in 9th and 10th grade (they now test all 8th graders at HIMS and WMS, so I hope that is a problem others won't encounter, or at least not to the same degree).

- Bulldog Parent

Anonymous said...

@ Bulldog Parent, I'm worried about the "labeling of the pathway" because that supposed "accelerated AP pathway" is what SPS says they provide at Garfield as the core of their required services to HC students. My child has been horribly bored by HCC middle school, and we were hoping for options for acceleration and greater challenge in high school--at least at the HCC pathway school, which supposedly provides an accelerated AP pathway.

It sounds, however, like that purported pathway doesn't exist, and that students at Garfield get access to AP courses on the same schedule as elsewhere, and some of those AP classes are even DEcelerated compared to how AP courses are intended. As the HCC pathway high school, Garfield should be offering the option of classes that are more challenging than other SPS high schools. It sounds like that's not the case.

DisAPPointed

Anonymous said...

There is no HCC pathway in high school beyond IBX. None. What HCC offers is first priority to AP classes when scheduling takes place, as well as guaranteed enrollment to Garfield. That's about it. That's all there ever was, btw.

The way it is different than in the past is this: Garfield used to be the only school with a high commitment to offering rigorous AP courses. As other high schools have evolved or have been commanded to offer stronger classes for college-bound kids, the differentiation between schools on availability of challenging work has lessened.

Note that there are plenty of highly selective universities that could care less about the number of AP classes or speed with which an IB diploma was obtained. Having a student finding himself/herself in high school and being able to articulate what they want out of their post-high-school education is golden on college applications.

HCC Parent

Anonymous said...

@HCC Parent, Garfield is the HCC pathway school, that's why HCC students go there by default. That doesn't mean it's still "HCC," nor does it mean there's a specific program. But it is the official "pathway" school for HCC students.

It's not accurate that "that's all there ever was." Up until a few years ago, HCC students DID have access to an accelerated AP pathway, taking AP World History in 9th grade. That was presumably a real, full-speed AP class, too, done in the course of a single year. That's a big change. Now we have the honors for all version in 9th, another big change. So no, it's not the same as always.

I love how these conversations always turn to some sort of insinuation that parents who ask about these things are misguided and pushing their kids too hard, that we need to chill out... No, I'm nor worried about the label, as Bulldog Parent suggested. Yes, I understand that taking the most AP classes or getting an IB degree faster is not that important to many schools, as you suggested I was worried about. Those are also not that important to me. But moving rapidly IS important to my child. Or rather, my child wants challenge... now, not later. GE classes haven't provided it, and HCC middle school classes haven't either. It sounds like freshman year classes won't either, and that's a real shame, as my child is learning to hate school because it is so incredibly slow-moving and lacking in challenge. Students who are genuinely ready to move on to AP level work as freshman should be able to.

DisAPPointed

Benjamin Leis said...

Just a reminder that tone doesn't always come across clearly in comments. I appreciate that high school parents are offering their impressions. Everyone's free to interpret what is being said as they wish but let's keep the atmosphere welcoming.



Anonymous said...

Hi All,
SPS keeps us on our toes tracking these plans. I've got a 7th grade HCC student at JAMS. We are happy with the program and he is thriving.

We live in NE Seattle. Wondering for high school in 2018/2019, will there be an HCC path in Wallingford at Lincoln?
Or will we be choosing between Garfield and Ingraham?

Nathan Hale, our reference non-HCC school, doesn't seem to offer many AP classes.

Thanks for any info!

Wedgwood Parent

Anonymous said...

Lincoln not scheduled to be online until 2019-20. Zero promises about HCC path.

A high school can be excellent without offering AP or IB classes. The prestige private high schools in town offer neither.

Carry on.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else who is applying for Advanced Learning status for their kids this year get an email today out of the blue about a testing session on Saturday 1/12 being moved from Thuroghgood Marshall to Cascadia? I didn't even know my daughter had been assigned a follow up test (probably achievement testing, as she just moved back to the US this fall).

I have emailed Advanced Learning and will call them tomorrow, but if someone attending the Saturday session at Cascadia could post the details about check in time, etc. it might help others also just getting this news to plan accordingly.

And they wonder why people don't follow through with pursuing Advanced Learning as an option for their kids. I have advanced degrees and years of program management experience and find this system so hard to deal with.....

LakeCityMom

Anonymous said...

For those interested in understanding more of the philosophy and research behind the GHS Honors for All approach, you may find interesting the notes prepared by the PTSA from the recent meeting with guest speaker Carol Burris. You can find them here: http://www.garfieldptsa.org/ptsa/carol-burris-1-11/

- Bulldog Parent

Anonymous said...

To IBx Student (if you are still on this thread):

I'm wondering if you can explain the TOK class? Does it meet for 2 full semesters, 3 hours per week, either before or after school? How does this work with sports and transportation? How do students feel about putting in this extra class time (not including study time) on top of a full course load?

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

TOK is 2nd semester of Yr 1 and 1st semester of Yr 2, for a total of 2 full semesters (3x/wk). When the start time was 7:50, TOK met after school. With the later start time, some TOK classes meet in the morning, starting at 7:30, and some meet in the afternoon. If you have sports you could ask for the morning time, but there's no guarantee. The later start was bad enough for those in sports, but TOK does make it a challenge. I think some students come late to practice if they have afternoon TOK and an afternoon sport. Or you could have a morning workout (swimming?) and afternoon TOK, so fewer conflicts, but a very long day.

From a parent perspective, I can't say I'd consider it worth the lost 3 hours each week. That's a lot of time, in addition to the extra work involved. IB just really owns your time. Between the TOK and the Extended Essay (done mostly over the summer if you are on top of things) it can become a bit of a slog.

Ingraham IBx Student said...

Anonymous directly above me mostly answered this, but I thought I'd chime in and second what they said - their info is pretty much spot on in my experience.

I myself only have one remaining TOK class before I am finished with the course. In my experience, the three hours per week of class time are the main commitment; there's not a ton of work outside this time, especially during the first semester of the course. The only time the workload really picks up is directly preceding the final presentation and essay assignments, which make up 1/3 and 2/3 of the grade in the course respectively. TOK overall is really not too bad, especially in comparison with the core IB classes.

Hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

Thanks IBx families. Is the extended essay part of the TOK class? I would expect the essay to take a lot of out-of-class time, no? When did you write yours? Mostly over the summer or early fall? Thanks again.

Ingraham IBx Student said...

The Extended Essay is separate from the TOK class altogether. Students pick their EE topics is the spring, are assigned an advisor, and complete the majority of their research. A rough draft of the Extended Essay is due to advisors within the first week of school in the fall. Students spend the summer writing this draft. They then spend the fall revising and rewriting based on their advisor's feedback. The final draft of the EE is due on Halloween.

I completed a VERY rough draft of my EE over the summer. I found that discussing my essay with my advisor was very helpful in pointing me in the right direction, and had much more success with my fall revisions than my summer drafting. It definitely was a time consuming task, taking many out-of-school hours. Fortunately, I had followed the most cliche EE tip: pick a topic you love. So I actually very much enjoyed writing my essay, despite the time it required.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any feedback on which option has the best counseling department/support for students who have mental health, academic or other crises?

Anonymous said...

Nova. Hands down. http://novahs.seattleschools.org/services

Anonymous said...

Have a child who is HCC at HIMS, shy, artistic, hard working, loves school, straight A student. Was in an ALO elementary (not Cascadia) and had a harder time making friendships, but standout student in elementary. Kid stresses out and alot of time on homework, but not because it is hard, because is perfectionist and has to do a stellar stand out job all the time.

For any who had a similar kid, is IBX more appropriate or IB at Ingraham? Advice? I hear counselors are steering even HCC kids towards IB (maturity). IBX is not viewed more favorably by colleges than IB. Also, concerned about the gap in the senior year with IBX.

We live in NW so Ballard is also an option, but hearing not as many AP courses/sections for HCC kids. Also, heard that Garfield kids from the north end will likely get pulled when Lincoln opens.
-NW mom

Anonymous said...

If more HCC students choose their neighborhood school, more AP courses/sections could potentially be offered, yes?

Also, heard that Garfield kids from the north end will likely get pulled when Lincoln opens.
Source? Does that mean current 9th grade Garfield students could be split for senior year? (I suppose anything is possible at this point...)

Anonymous said...

"@January 6, 2017 at 6:37 AM- FYI I am glad to say it has improved! There is a newer science teacher (Ms. Vermaack) who is just a rock star at HIMS. She was a scientist. Many parents talking about how this teacher is invigorating 7th grade science at HIMS. My child's most challenging class and a favorite as well.
-7th grade HIMS parent

lms said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"If more HCC students choose their neighborhood school, more AP courses/sections could potentially be offered, yes?"

In theory. In practice when you have limited funding (like SPS) you need a large critical mass of kids at the same level to offer multiple sections of AP classes to make a schedule that works. Without planning and accurate projections it is highly unpredictable. Garfield has worked because it has been a "pathway" school and they have so many HCC kids who take AP classes.

Rick Burke mentioned at a recent school board meeting HCC kids would likely get pulled to open Lincoln. It makes sense as Garfield is projected to be too crowded. Who knows if they would pull seniors, I hope they would grandfather.

Anonymous said...

Can a Garfield parent speak to the availability of levels 2 and 3 of foreign language for 9th and 10th graders? (Specifically, my child would need French 3 as a 9th grader, but my question is a bit broader than that.) I know this has been a problem in the past, and one of our tour guides last week (during the GHS school tour) said she was unable to get Spanish 2 as a freshman so switched languages. That's not practical for us, as my kid does not want to start back at level 1 in a new language. I'm just curious whether there has been any improvement in the situation? Please give it to me straight, as it is important to my decision making.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

On the issue of Lincoln, I realize anything is possible, but do you really think SPS could open the school as an HCC pathway school with AP classes commensurate with Garfield? It seems like Lincoln will have a lot on its plate initially and that it would be hard to find the teachers, etc, to open a school with that level of course offerings right away. Yet you can't really pull juniors and seniors from Garfield without offering those levels of classes (as the HCC kids will have already taken the lower level classes at GHS during their 9th and 10th grade years, and you can't expect them to repeat classes). I'm wondering if this conundrum makes it less likely Lincoln would open as an HCC pathway school right away? Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Lincoln is drawing from Ballard and Roosevelt, both of which have a number of AP options. It's hard to fathom not planning for a base level of AP courses at Lincoln, but absent any info from the district it sure is difficult to speculate. It seems the challenge would be finding qualified teachers. Wouldn't those with more seniority get priority to stay at Ballard or Roosevelt (or Garfield)?

Anonymous said...

The SPS BEX IV page on Lincoln HS says there was a meeting held re: high school curriculum. From the Planning and Construction Updates section (boldface added):

November 2016
Reached 75% design development phase and finalized the SEPA checklist. The design development document is under review.A community meeting on high school curriculum was held. Additional building investigation took place. The mechanical contractor/construction manager RFQ closed and interviews occurred. The Landmarks Architectural Review Committee was briefed.

Does anyone have information on that HS curriculum meeting? Or are they perhaps referring to Rick Burke's meeting, which wasn't really a meeting on curriculum?

Also, what's the progress on Lincoln HS planning? The most recent minutes for community or design team meetings are from last summer, and there's no notice of anything upcoming... Shouldn't things be moving along?

Anonymous said...

In response to the question at 5:04 pm re language at Garfield (please use a nickname!), here is the info that was shared by Garfield's FOWL (Friends of World Language) leaders about placement into languages; this information was shared in mid-September as some classes were still being sorted out:

French: Besides French 1, only 11 French students were not able to be placed, 2 due to scheduling conflicts.

Spanish: Besides Spanish 1, all students were enrolled in their first choice class with the exception of 3 who had schedule conflicts.

Japanese: All students were placed, with the exception of 6 students, 1 of whom had a schedule conflict.

Latin: All but 11 students were placed, and we anticipate most of those needs have been met as of last week.

Also they said that all of the kids from HIMS and WMS who took the placement test were placed in Level 3 or higher.

Probably your tour guide was in 10th-12th grade; the situation was much better for this year's 9th graders, in large part due to the hard work by FOWL leaders.

- Bulldog Parent

Anonymous said...

Bulldog Parent - Thank you for that information!

I'm curious what happened to the 9 kids who didn't get the French class they needed (not due to a scheduling conflict)? They just don't get their class? Or maybe it's unknown, as I see you indicated the information was provided while they were still trying to work out some classes. (Yes, my guide was a 10th grader, and she did mention the FOWL group as being formed in response to the problems her class had.)

Based on what you wrote, it sounds like most 9th graders are actually coming in at level 3? Do HIMS and WMS provide 3 years of language (equivalent to 2 years of high school language)? That's what JAMS does, but I did not know that other middle schools do the same, or maybe WMS and HIMS just really pack in 2 years of high school language into 2 years of middle school language class? (Compare to 2 years of high school language at another middle school, where that is usually equivalent to 1 year of high school and kids come in at level 2.)

Thanks again,
-Language questions

Anonymous said...

Oops - I meant compare to 2 years of MS language at other middle schools, where that is usually equivalent to 1 year of high school language, and kids come in at level 2.

-Language questions

Anonymous said...

And how many students were affected by "besides spanish 1 and french 1" that seems like a pretty big detail. Not all kids take language in middle school.

SusanH said...

Hmmm, It hasn't been my experience that most WMS students test into level 3 language classes. Most of my son's fellow Japanese students are now in Japanese 2 (after the two years of the slower language classes in middle school). I only know a couple who tested into Japanese 3.

Maybe my son just wanted an easier Freshman year though. :) I'm fine with it. No need to push in every area. And this way he won't run out of available language classes.

Anecdotally, I had thought only the Spanish department at Garfield was troubled, always having a hard time finding enough teachers. I hadn't heard of problems getting into the other languages. Bulldog Parent, thanks for posting all the actual data.

Anonymous said...

Some students start a new language in 9th grade, even if they've studied a world language in MS, so yes, the numbers involved in "besides Spanish 1 and besides French 1" seem like a big deal. I was surprised to learn GHS has a parent group devoted just to world languages - are they funding teaching positions in order to maintain language pathways?

Anonymous said...

Language questions-I had thought WMS offered two full years middle school language (7th and 8th) , while HIMS offers 3 full years (6-8th).
-K

Anonymous said...

Here's a link to some info on world languages in SPS: https://sites.google.com/site/seattleworldlanguages/presentations

And a link
to the results of a survey of 9th grade students at Garfield last February.

Anonymous said...

Unofficial word is that IHS will be ending the IBX option after next year's 9th grade cohort. It's not clear if it is a district or school decision. It sounds like they might also be moving toward a blended/honors for all (?) LA/SS in 9th grade. Hopefully program structure and options will be made clear to parents at the open houses. Are they trying to push more students to their neighborhood schools?

Anonymous said...

IHS has only a few AP options (all math) - AP Computer Science, AP Calc AB, and AP Stats. Without an option to accelerate, what other advanced coursework is available in years 9 and 10? It is my understanding that IB courses are only available to students in 11th or 12th, unless they are on the accelerated IBX pathway. Ending IBX will also end some of the more advanced IB math courses available in senior year.

Anonymous said...

It would be like Garfield, where there aren't options to accelerate in 9th grade (despite the legal requirement to do so). In fact, HCC students are DEcelerated in 9th, going from theoretically more advanced LA and SS classes in 6th through 8th grades to general "honors for all" versions in 9th. Stepping back further, they go from 2yrs ahead in elementary to zero yrs ahead in 9th. And these are kids who tend to learn more quickly. It's pretty messed up. Or as SPS would call it, success in reducing the opportunity gap!

Anonymous said...

The only reason IBX was offered in the first place was to entice HCC families to choose Ingraham over Garfield at a time that Garfield was over-enrolled. The IBX program has never been as strong as originally touted and in fact is a problem in some ways. Now that IB is desirable and families have accepted Ingraham as a pathway...so much so that there are too many HCCers for slots available and some will be turned away this year...there is no reason for Ingraham to offer a problem that is an administrative headache and of questionable value in some staff's eyes. Again - IBX not IB. You've got to spend years with eagle eyes watching the dysfunctional downtown management structure to forecast what might happen at your current or intended school. For those of us who have done so, dropping IBX would not be a surprising development.

And if you think Lincoln will open with a tailor-made pathway for HCCers, I've got some "valuable" land for sale.

Oldster

Anonymous said...

To Anon @ 11:23, I recently heard from the principal at IHS that they have no plans at all to go toward an "honors for all" structure. Just the opposite, they are trying to create a more rigorous two-year pre-IB program so that HCC kids can do regular IB and still have rigorous 9th and 10th grade years.

Anonymous said...

"Unofficial word is that IHS will be ending the IBX option after next year's 9th grade cohort. It's not clear if it is a district or school decision. "

Source? Any discussion about what accelerated classes an HCC kid can take for 9th and 10th if no IBX? Will they add additional AP classes?

Anonymous said...

In regards to an HCC student doing IB instead of IBX, from Ingraham..

"After completing the high school biology in 8th grade, he/she would move into honors chemistry in 9th and honors physics in 10th. They would be better prepared for any IB science at that point than they currently are. In math we offer multiple pathways that could terminate in a pre-calc, AP Calc or AP stats course prior to entering the IB math sequence. Here again, they would be better prepared and perhaps have more options for IB math. The same applies to world languages where they would have better preparation and more options open to them with regards to the level they could test at. Moreover, they would have an extra year to meet some of the pre-requisites for certain classes – again this opens up more options in terms of the mix of IB electives and the level they could test at.
Keep in mind this is not like AP which is a collection of courses. If HCC students do an early entry they are required to do the full diploma – this involves seven IB courses, with typically five being taught over two years in addition to the core that involves several independent projects completed over the two years outside of the school day."

Thoughts? I am wondering about any other honors/AP courses an HCC 9th and 10th grader can take if not in IBX other than science and math?
-BN

Anonymous said...

I'm assuming the 7 courses includes the TOK class before/after school. Only 6 core classes are required for the diploma - (3) 2-yr HL classes and (3) 1-yr SL classes - which works out to 9 credits of IB courses taken over the course of 2 years.

Possible IBX pathway (* indicates year IB exam is taken):

10th grade
IB Math SL (*)
IB Lang & Lit HL
IB History HL
IB Biology HL
IB World Language SL (*)
Elective

*11th grade*
AP Calc AB
IB Lang & Lit HL (*)
IB History HL (*)
IB Biology HL (*)
IB Elective SL (*)
World Language or another elective

Sounds like there will be lots of questions at the Open House/IB Info night.

Anonymous said...

This is not a site-based decision. An accelerated IB pathway at Ingraham is required by the Superintendent's procedure for advanced learners and highly capable students.

Anonymous said...

To Anon at 4:51 p.m. -
As I understand it, you can't take the IB world language test until level 4 of the language, is that right? If so, the only kids who can test in 10th grade would be kids coming in at level 3 in 9th grade. For those coming in at level 2 in 9th grade, they must take a world language in 9th (level 2), 10th (level 3), and 11th (level 4 & take IB test). Do I understand it correctly? The reason it matters (and the reason I'm trying to figure this out) is that if the student is in band or orchestra (a full year elective taken every year), then in 11th grade, the student must give up AP Calc A/B and bump it to 12th grade, which means no math in 11th grade. Alternatively, the student could give up a year of orchestra. Do I have that right? I would be happy to stand corrected. :-)

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if a student (strong in foreign language) from HIMS who has taken 3 full years of language would be placed into 3rd year language at Ingraham? I am hearing most HIMS with 3 years would place into 3rd year for Garfield, but Ingraham they would place into 2nd year? Is this correct?
-N

Anonymous said...

Anyone know the date and place of the next HCC advisory meeting?

Anonymous said...

The Seattle Public School's Highly Capable Services Advisory Committee (SPS-HCS-AC) is a group of volunteer parents and teachers charged to make recommendations regarding the organization and service delivery model of the Highly Capable Services, which serves Seattle Public Schools' academically highly capable learners.

Future meeting dates (all Tuesdays at 6:30 pm) include:
February 7, Washington Middle School Library
March 7, Cascadia (Lincoln) Library
April 4, Garfield High School Library
May 2, Hamilton International Middle School Library
June 6, Madison Middle School Library

All are welcome to attend the HCS AC meetings.

-Danielle

Anonymous said...

In response to Language questions - I don't know specifically what happened to the 9 kids who wanted to take French but couldn't get in, but assuming they didn't get in later, they would just have to take another class. It happens more in 9th and 10th grade because typically advanced grades get higher priority on class selection. But if they have 9 kids left over after filling the class(es) (in any subject), that isn't enough to offer another class in that subject, and it stinks but the kid just has to take some other class. This can happen at any public HS. It was just really bad for the class of 2019 kids who wanted world language because GHS was short on staff. 2020 class was much better off this year.

As for incoming level, our experience is that one year at HIMS in Spanish is worth more than one year at GHS, almost the reverse of what they told us. Kids who took two years at HIMS and went into Spanish 2 at GHS found it way too easy (see survey linked above) and now are still way ahead in Spanish 3 (the UW in HS class). Kids who took three years of Spanish at HIMS are now in AP Spanish or Spanish 4 and cruising through with no issues. It's a real credit to the Spanish teachers at HIMS.

Anonymous at 9:15 (pick a nickname!) - My understanding is that FOWL doesn't fund anything, as I don't think they have funds, but they did work with the PTSA for some funding for an Americorps volunteer who helps in one classroom, and they advocated successfully for one additional FTE to be budgeted by the school. They also got the district to offer some staff professional development time and got authorization for the school to hire language teachers much earlier in the year (in the past the position was posted in the summer, after most teachers already had jobs for the following year). They also made other recommendations based on information from their research, including the survey. According to FOWL, the decision not to offer French 1 was to allow them to offer AP French, and they also reduced the number of Spanish 1 classes so they could offer more higher-level Spanish classes. While it is true that some kids don't take language in middle school, there was overall a greater balance of needs for advanced classes based on what they were seeing.

SusanH - As you can see from the survey linked above, Japanese 2 seems more appropriately leveled for kids who had two years in MS than Spanish 2 was. Interesting that you had different placement test info than what was shared by FOWL.

¡Buena suerte!

-Bulldog Parent

Anonymous said...

Bulldog Parent said: As for incoming level, our experience is that one year at HIMS in Spanish is worth more than one year at GHS, almost the reverse of what they told us. Kids who took two years at HIMS and went into Spanish 2 at GHS found it way too easy (see survey linked above) and now are still way ahead in Spanish 3 (the UW in HS class). Kids who took three years of Spanish at HIMS are now in AP Spanish or Spanish 4 and cruising through with no issues. It's a real credit to the Spanish teachers at HIMS.

I suppose it's one interpretation that it's "a real credit to the Spanish teachers at HIMS" (and presumably JAMS, too, based on the survey results you presented).

Another interpretation is that the Garfield Spanish teachers are really doing kids a disservice. One year of middle school Spanish is worth MORE than a year of high school Spanish at Garfield? Seriously? That's pretty pathetic. It's even more pathetic when you consider that many parents and students who have experience with HIMS Spanish do NOT have a similarly positive perception of the program, and actually find it to be pretty weak. I honestly can't say I've ever heard a single person at HIMS say how great they think the Spanish program is. All the kids and parents I know have found it very disappointing.

Clearly Garfield needs to step up the challenge of it's Spanish classes. When high school classes can't even keep up with middle school classes, that's a real problem. (It's also interesting to note that this is consistent with some of the comments about the new GHS honors for all LA and SS, which some HCC students have said is easier than their middle school classes.)

kitty

Anonymous said...

kitty - I think the challenge for the GHS teachers is that historically they have had a pretty wide range of knowledge levels in the each class. One of the things that came out of the work done by FOWL last year is that the school needed to do a better job of leveling kids as they came in. By having all of (or nearly all of) the kids from WMS and HIMS take the STAMP placement test last June, that greatly helped, so that kids are starting at the right place at GHS, and teachers aren't trying to teach classes of students who are at such greatly varying levels. This has only been in place for this year's 9th graders, so the 10th and above are still not all appropriately leveled. As for the criticism of HIMS, I guess I found the objective results on the STAMP test (which is used by the district, not just HIMS and GHS) as evidence that the kids actually did learn a fair amount at HIMS. I have also spoken with another Spanish teacher who is currently at a private high school about what is being covered in those classes, and I would say the GHS courses compare favorably in terms of content and what kids have learned. Not that I think GHS couldn't still improve in the Spanish program, as there are definitely some frustrations we have with it. But it is improved from the past.

- Bulldog Parent

Anonymous said...

I didn't make it to the Carol Burris talk and panel, so just looked at the helpful notes on the GHS PTA page. The comments of the GHS teacher and student don't reflect what I've heard about Honors for All at all (albeit, my sample size is small - 3 students, but in-depth conversations). The GHS teacher who spoke didn't address how things are going academically. What I've heard: classes are much less rigorous than WMS and HIMS. Ability and preparedness of students is widely variable and the teachers aren't trained to manage that. White students feel pressured not to talk about their negative observations -- fear that they will only be labelled as racist. White daughter doesn't want to talk in class because maybe she's taking up too much space with her white privilege (this is a kid who is shy and quiet and has had to learn to speak up). White students are stereotyping (black kids don't do their homework, fall asleep in class), but certainly aren't talking about it at school -- this does make for rich conversations at home (if the kids talk about it) and opportunities for parents to address stereotypes. My sample set is white and asian, so I don't know what non-asian kids of color are thinking in terms of any stereotypes. Simply concluding that students won't have stereotypes because they are in closer proximity to one another seems naive. I know that Honors for All is new, so perhaps will get better, but what I've heard is concerning.
Honors for all commenter

Anonymous said...

My understanding of the move away from IBx is that it is not absolute but it will be less common. IBx students have less flexibility in their schedules because they have completed fewer pre-reqs. That takes some IB class options off the table. It also makes it harder to do 4 years of 2 electives, so some students end up missing a year of music. There also seems to be a writing deficit for many incoming HCC students that would have another year to address, before getting to the IB level written work. Another concern is that the attrition rate is higher than for IB students. I think staff has been shocked at the number of IBx students who get overwhelmed & drop. IB requires a lot of self-regulation, self-motivation, organization, introspection and academic risk-taking that some sophomores are not ready for developmentally. Even those who are ready seem to invest less than older students do. A year later they would have more to bring to the table. Then for senior year most IBx students just take more advanced classes anyway. So the idea is to move those classes to sophomore year while addressing all the other issues like opportunities for more pre-reqs, schedule flexibility, writing & maturity.

-Just my Opinion

Anonymous said...

Some comments on your comments:

There also seems to be a writing deficit for many incoming HCC students that would have another year to address, before getting to the IB level written work.

Perhaps, but wasn't the intent of specific pre-IB classes in 9th grade to better prepare students for IB as early as 10th grade? The writing deficit starts in middle school (or earlier). We have yet to see a coherent, skills based writing curriculum in SPS. Readers and Writers Workshop should not be extending into middle school (or high school, for that matter). What's even more concerning is what's not happening in 9th grade LA at IHS. They do not seem focused on developing advanced writing skills. Ask a current 9th grade IBX parent if students have extended writing assignments in line with IB LA expectations or if they get meaningful teacher feedback on essays (lots of self grading going). Delaying IB for a year just shifts the burden to another teacher.

IB requires...academic risk-taking...
What does that even mean?? I ask because teachers use that phrase with great frequency and I truly do not know what they mean by it.

A year later they would have more to bring to the table. Then for senior year most IBx students just take more advanced classes anyway.
They take advanced coursework for both years of IB, but once finished with IB they can continue to take advanced coursework, yes? IBX allows for 3 years of advanced courses, as opposed to 2. Can 10th graders take IB classes prior to beginning the 2 yr diploma program? If not, does 10th grade put them in a holding pattern? The biggest deficit seems to be in science offerings. While 10th grade students going the traditional IB route can continue with their world language pathway, and perhaps take an AP Calculus class, what advanced science or other electives are offered? While delaying IB can help with scheduling for those in music, what about those not in music? And if music is a high priority, would not Ballard or Roosevelt or Garfield offer more options?

All that said, I do agree that providing an option to delay the start of IB is a good change. The primary concern is that IBX as an option may be lost altogether, along with access to advanced classes for those who choose to accelerate. What incentive will IHS have to offer anything meaningful for senior year? I am hoping questions around course and program options are made more clear on IB info night.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous@8:49-- I am hoping that Ingraham can present an example of pathways for HCC kids interested in IBX as well as IB. My understanding, but maybe I am wrong, have alot to learn, is that HCC kids can take honors and a few AP courses in 9th and 10th?

"And if music is a high priority, would not Ballard or Roosevelt or Garfield offer more options? "

Garfield is not an option for those in the north end concerned that their kid may be pulled when Lincoln opens etc. As far as Ballard and Roosevelt, they may have great music offerings. But my understanding is that they do not have multiple sections of AP classes so HCC kids end up not getting AP classes. As the reference school is not an HCC pathway, it is very uncertain that they may or may not have enough of a cohort to offer enough multiple AP classes and sections. They may or may not get into an AP class. It is chaotic for academic planning for curriculum continuity and not a planned program pathway.
-NT

Anonymous said...

Just a reminder of Ballard event Feb. 2, 7:30 pm (?) where high school boundaries are on the list of the topics.

...in the Theater (plenty of room, comfortable seats). This is part of the Ballard High School PTSA general meeting; all students, parents, staff, and community members invited to attend!

High School and Education Funding Discussion
Thursday, Feb. 2nd at the Ballard High PTSA meeting. The program starts at 7:30 pm (the actual PTSA meeting starts at 7 pm.)

Topics: budget, 24-Credit graduation requirements, longer day, Lincoln HS/boundaries and Career and Technical Education requirements.

With:
Rick Burke, Board Director
JoLynn Berge, SPS Business and Finance
Dan Gallagher, Director of Career and College Readiness
Eden Mack, Leg Chair, SCPTSA
Jerry Bener, Director of Government Relations, Assn of WA School Principals
Keven Wynkoop, Ballard High principal
Moderator: Heidi Bennett, past leg VP SCPTSA

Questions in advance can be made at the Friends of Ballard HS Facebook page or email Heidi at Heidi@Bennettdirect.net

Anonymous said...

Well, though I have heard some of their comments in meetings, I am not in the confidence of staff at IHS, so I really can't answer from their perspective.

My take is,

Writing - I don't know what happened as far as writing assignments in 9th grade IBx for the first semester this year. Probably depends on the individual teachers. My kid did not come from HCC middle school & had excellent writing instruction with no writer's workshop. So there were enough writing assignments in 9th grade to prepare for IBx. Maybe since there is a mix of those kids in the classes the teachers can't focus only on remediation.

Risk taking- Well the some of the academic risks I see that may be impacted by maturity are about making academic choices. A lot of IB work is self-driven, original or using a personally chosen frame of reference though which to approach exploration or research. There is no right answer, or way to know when you are done, or assurance that you aren't headed toward a dead end, or method to predict the outcome or the quality of your results, or way to predict your grade. Your teacher can't always reassure you, as most large pieces of work are evaluated externally even outside the country. Your personal choices about your ideas are front & center. Do you have the courage to venture into that not knowing the outcome? Do you have the conviction to pursue work that may not turn out? Are you self-reflective enough to have a personal frame of reference from which to start your exploration & are you willing to have that personal frame evaluated by a stranger? Of course there is guidance, but it is not a matter of just checking the rubric boxes or practicing skills or memorizing material.


Sophomore year -
Presumably students would take pre-reqs that allow them to have more options in IB courses. But courses are always changing depending on student interest & teachers' qualifications.

-Just my Opinion

Anonymous said...

My understanding of IB Internal Assessments (extended papers based on student created topics/questions related to the particular course) is that they do get reviewed and graded by IHS teachers prior to submission to IB. They typically get teacher approval on their chosen topic, write a near final draft, then get one and only one chance at written teacher feedback (per IB rules). Students do preliminary research to select a topic, pull together resources, and are generally left on their own to make an outline and write the paper.

These are skills that can be practiced by assigning similar assignments in 9th grade. Are IB like assignments happening in the pre-IB 9th grade classes? I'm not sure they ever write a formal lab report in 9th grade honors/IBX chemistry. When I hear students may not be prepared for IB in 10th, I have to wonder what is being done in 9th to make the transition more seamless. If they are moving away from the IBX model, what are they doing in 9th and 10th grade classes to better prepare students, other than allowing for more time?

Anonymous said...

If anyone following this string has an HCC student at Roosevelt, who participated in HCC in middle school and therefore arrived in high school ready for chemistry and Algebra II or higher, can you speak to the availability of upper level science classes and general ability to get desired classes (including AP classes)? I would mostly love to hear from families of upperclassmen (juniors and seniors), though I'm guessing there are only a few such families, as I don't think HCC kids have gone to the neighborhood high schools in significant numbers until recently. I feel like I've heard from some families of freshmen who say RHS has been great - no problem getting classes, etc - but I'm not really concerned about 9th, or even 10th, grade. I'm concerned about 11th and 12th (after my kid has finished chemistry and physics and has no more science classes to take, and when there may be only one section of upper level math classes).

Thanks.

-8th grade parent

Anonymous said...

8th grade parent-
My HCC child is still a freshman, but I can answer with what I've heard so far. Unless your child is taking pre-calculus as an 8th grader, there are enough math offerings there. Typically for the kids who jumped 3 years, it's pre-calc for 9th, then AP Calc AB, AP Calc BC, AP Stats. I only know of one kid who will enter in Calculus, but I'm sure there are a few out there. They then encourage running start as the option after the 3 years of AP classes.

For science, yes, it is an issue to run out of classes. I'd love to see a group of 7th and 8th grade parents get together and encourage the school to take a look at either/both an AP Bio class for the kids who took it in 8th grade, or AP Chem. AP Physics is offered for those kids who have reached a certain level of calculus, I think not a problem for most HCC kids. All other areas, language, music, etc. seem to provide plenty of strong options. But, as my next kid is a science nut, these are reasonable questions to ask the principal.

I have never heard of any kids not getting into a class this year, at any level. The only concern would be if there was a specific drama/jazz band/orchestra course that conflicted. I have heard there is a concerted effort not to have certain AP classes overlap with Symphony, for example, as there is much overlap. But of course, there will always be a kid who has a unique schedule that can't fit anything. It's only a matter of timing, though, not being full.

Roosevelt/JAMS parent

Anonymous said...

If someone is reading with a HCC qualified child at Ballard HS can you please also share about the pathway an HCC kid can take coming from HIMS HCC?

-NM

Anonymous said...

Regarding pre-IB classes at IHS. I would think that if the current 9th & 10th grade classes adequately prepare gen ed students for IB, that HCC students would not need more than that. I think that if HCC students are not prepared for IBx after a year of pre-IB classes then it probably is just a matter of time, probably executive function development. The concerns that I hear about IBx students who don't do well are mostly around executive function. Seems unlikely that they are less than a year ahead of the gen ed students academically, but it makes sense that they are not ahead developmentally. If that is the case, then time would be the major factor in different outcomes.

-IBx parent

Anonymous said...

How many diploma candidates are there each year, and what percent are HCC/IBX?

A Mildly Worried Student said...

Since open enrollment is about to start, I've been considering my options for high school and am a bit worried. I am currently enrolled in 8th grade HIMS, and (after this year) will have finished Alg II, SLA3, Biology, and the 8th grade HCC LA/SS courses.

In 7th grade, many of the 8th grade friends I made in my math courses touted how great Ingraham was, and how IB(x) was going to be a real boost to their academic career, but now there are apparently limited seats for Ingraham entry and rumours that they'll shut down the IBx program.

I've also been looking at the other options-Garfield is what I'm automatically assigned to, but I've heard some negative things about its treatment towards advanced students. I had never considered Roosevelt as an option until now, and I didn't even know about its existence until the end of 6th grade.

So I have the following questions:
Are there limited seats in Ingraham? If yes, how are they selected? I've been told it's pure chance. Is there any way to get forward in the listing? And are the rumours about the IBx program true?

Do Garfield and Roosevelt have good HCC programs? Are the words I've been hearing (from both students and teachers) about the poor quality of treatment at Garfield unfounded? And I would like some more general knowledge on Roosevelt's programs.

And finally-what about my Spanish courses? Does HIMS SLA3 count as "Immersion"? And how can I continue them?

Sorry if that's a lot of questions-I hope I'm not being too intrusive for a newcomer.

A student answered some of your questions, I hope some of you can answer some of a students. I should also be able to answer some HIMS questions, though I think this is the wrong thread for that.

Still, negative talk about many of the school offerings, cynical teachers and parents everywhere, and talk on the street about Seattle's dysfunctional school system have only made me
-Mildly Worried.

ps. I can provide some proof if you all would like it.

Benjamin Leis said...

@Mildly Worried - as the moderator I'm going to take step back and say that choosing your high school is ultimately a decision for you and your parents to make together. I hope that you're including them in the process and telling them your questions and worries and not just us anonymously on this forum.

That said none of this is secret or sensitive, you can find many of the answers to your questions already in the comments that have been made. Another great resource for specific questions about things like Spanish credits is to talk to the High Schools directly and ask what their policy is.

Anonymous said...

Both Roosevelt and Ingraham had open houses last night. Did you attend either? Ingraham still has a daytime tour Feb. 8. If you attend HIMS and Roosevelt is your neighborhood school, that may change in 2019 when Lincoln opens. Some Roosevelt and Ballard students will be part of a geo-split to Lincoln, which would be junior year for current 8th grade students.

No one knows how enrollment will handle IHS placement, as up until now HCC students have gotten the option placement. There also has been little official communication about the continuation of IBX, though the district trajectory has been to limit advancement options, rather than expand and support them, so you can speculate as to the long term future of IBX.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Ben that it's a decision to be made with parents.

SusanH said...

Mildly worried student: I can address a couple of your questions. First of all, there is no "HCC program" at Roosevelt or Garfield. Anyone can sign up for any class in high school. What you do get at schools where a lot of HCC kids attend, though, are the availability of lots of AP and honors classes. Plus, presumably some of your friends will be going there, so you'll know some people.

As far as the animosity toward HCC students at Garfield, I've experienced that on these blogs as people constantly debate advanced programs and equity, but my 9th grade son at Garfield doesn't feel it at all. He's there at Garfield with the bulk of his friends from WMS, and they mix with all sorts of other kids from other grades, and it just hasn't been a problem. He has some great teachers and some average teachers, but he hasn't felt that a teacher doesn't like him because he is an honors-level student.

One bit of advice no matter where you go: join something your freshman year. Band, or drama, or student government. My son is in the band, and it's been wonderful to have that group to feel a part of, you know? He has his "people," which makes being a new kid in a giant school much easier.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Mildly worried student-- I would also add that as you live in the north end there is also a possibility you may have to change schools (if you go to Garfield, Ballard or Roosevelt I believe) when Lincoln the new high school opens. Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding is that Lincoln will also pull some HCC students who live in the north end from Garfield as well.

I do believe that if you choose Ingraham IBX/IB, this may be less likely as Ingraham will be adding seats in 2019 (same year Lincoln opens) when you are entering 11th grade. You should talk with your parents about this as well.
- NM

Anonymous said...

"but now there are apparently limited seats for Ingraham entry"

Also, mildly worried student although last year some students were on a waitlist, thus far I was told they let all the HCC students in who chose IBX. There is a cap at 90 HCC for IBX out of reference I believe. The principal Martin Floe had mentioned he believes the district "may" increase the level due to overcrowding at Garfield. I guess it will also depend upon if Ingraham can get portables. Also, I am told that an HCC student can choose to do the IB(waiting until 11th grade to start) over IBX (starts 10th grade) as well at Ingraham after they are admitted. I suggest you and your parents go to the IB info night next week.
-NM

Anonymous said...

Regarding NM's comment about the IBX waitlist at Ingraham last year; wasn't at least some of that movement due to discrepancies about the pathway guarantee language between the SPS and Advanced Learning websites?

WedgwoodMom said...

My kid, who is not HCC qualified largely because he does not test well, but definitely needs the bar to be high, wants to go to Hale or Ingraham. Roosevelt is his neighborhood school. I feel very much in the dark about what kind of challenge is offered at Hale for those who need it. I have heard a variety of comments about this. Can anyone enlighten me? Thanks!